Amicus Horizon Case Study

Paper Map


Amicus Horizon Group is one of the largest RSLs in the UK with over 28,000 homes under management across London, the South and the South East of England. The group was formed in 2009 through the progressive merger and consolidation of a number of housing associations.

The Challenge

As Amicus Horizon began to operate as a group it was clear that as the land and property asset data were held in multiple places and systems it could not be guaranteed to be comprehensive or accurate. In order to let new grounds maintenance contracts it was essential that detailed, accurate and up to date ‘bills of quantities’ were prepared for use within the contract specification.

The Solution

Data Insight had previously captured grounds maintenance information for Swale Housing, now within the Kent Region of Amicus Horizon. Consequently when the Sussex Region was preparing to begin the grounds maintenance contract procurement Data Insight was commissioned again to assist them.

Data Insight advised on the best approach to take to address the problem and the project began with the scanning of all the paper copies of original grounds maintenance and ownership map records available from the various stock transfer and asset management activities that had occurred over the years.

Data Insight acted as the focal point between Sussex Region and Ordnance Survey (OS) to source the required OS mapping data and a suite of new digital maps of the region were produced onto which all of the ownership and grounds maintenance responsibility information was captured. This included; approximately 2,500 ownership features that had been marked on the original 196 maps and approximately 6,700 ground maintenance related features marked on 283 assorted maps. All the information was collated and presented in a single unified format for the first time.

Once all data was mapped, various spatial queries were run to determine the management areas per estate for all grounds maintenance features and also a series of comparison reports produced to identify where grounds maintenance activity was currently being performed on land not shown as within Amicus Horizon’s ownership on the maps. The application of cost code rates for maintenance activities (e.g. amenity grass cutting, shrub beds) onto the areas not owned by Amicus Horizon illustrated the potential savings available if this activity ceased. An initial estimate concluded that the saving available would be ten times the cost of the data capture and cleansing project.

Finally, once all the anomalies identified had been addressed then a complete and accurate bill of quantities was automatically created for use within the tender document for contractors to price against.

Amicus Horizon staff are now able to maintain this record as an ongoing management tool and produce neighbourhood maps showing locally maintained land to demonstrate clearly and accurately local grounds maintenance charges for residents.

The Result

  • Amicus Horizon now has a comprehensive and accurate record of what is owned and what should be maintained.
  • There is, for the first time, an accurate bill of quantities for letting and managing the grounds maintenance contracts.
  • There is now a single, consistent record of ownership for the whole region shown visually on up to date maps.
  • Significant cost savings have been achieved in maintaining the estate.
  • Amicus Horizon and Data Insight (GIS) are now pursuing a similar approach across the rest of the group.
  • Cost savings identified provide an immediate return on the cost of the data capture project.

About Data Insight (GIS)

The value of land and property data is often not realised due to it being inaccessible, in the wrong format or because it hasn’t been maintained. In an age where service improvement alongside cost reductions is a priority, making the most of your data will enable you to exploit its value and improve the speed and effectiveness of the service you offer.

Data Insight (GIS) has successfully carried out over 450 data digitisation and consultancy projects and digitised over ten million records from Ordnance Survey maps together with associated features and attributes.

Principal clients are local authorities, government agencies, utilities and asset holding bodies including housing associations, commercial and agricultural land owners and mining and quarrying companies.

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